The review can be found here: CLICK
Besides the story of discrimination and hate from her own "brothers and sisters in blue," I was struck by something else in Gauthier's book. The honesty, fear, and guts to tell your story and put it out there for all the world to read.
Especially when the story is not so nice.
Workplace harrassment is hell. Anyone who has been through it will tell you. As I explain in "How to Recognize the Devil" I believe heaven and hell are here on earth; workplace harrassment has its own room with no water. (I have been through three such cases in my own career. Each has left a scratch on my soul, some moreso than others)
While working on my other true crime/ two books, I was blessed to speak with the victim survivors who shared their stories with me: funny, sad, good memories, how it feels like when the man at the morgue says you cannot give your child one more hug because their body is now "evidence." Stories of tears, blood, laughter.
In one of my favoritie movies, "Erin Brockovitch," Erin happens to meet a man who has all of the evidence she needs. He wants to tell, needs to tell. She frantically calls her boss, Ed, asking him what to do. He says, "Let him talk. People want to tell their story." A true story that happened between the real Erin and the real Ed.
This is one of my mantras. I remember one of my first days as an investigator, a retired Los Angeles detective told me how to get someone to talking. I said, "no one's going to tell me that!" I was wrong.
People want to tell their story.
So here is Debra Gauthier telling her story of workplace harrassment in "Bright Lights, Dark Places" where the scratches on her own soul show dark and deep. She is a victim of a crime. She tells stories that are sad, good memories, how it feels ... she puts it out there bravely. It is probably akin to walking naked through a busy intersection in New York City. You hope they don't make jokes or say nasty things, you're sure some will ... and you hope you don't hear them.
Some people may not like what she says. Some people will applaud. Others will not believe her. Others will relate to her story. But she put it out there. I see it as brave.
So it makes me wonder, would I tell my story?
Would you tell your story?